River, 1989


Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell
River, 1989
Huile sur toile | Oil on canvas
280.0 x 400.0 cm

© The Estate of Joan Mitchell

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

Transforming the act of painting into a physical performance, the large dimensions of Joan Mitchell's canvases were in keeping with the expressionist style. She liked to say that "Painting is a means of feeling "living".

The composition of these diptychs is reminiscent of a poem with their stanzas and repetition. Even if the spectator finds themselves immersed in her paintings, she painted them to be viewed from a distance, and all at once.


This painting entitled River is inspired by the Seine that flowed not far from her studio in Vétheuil, the village where Claude Monet used to paint around 1880.


These two artists had many things in common: their constant observation of nature, the way they paid special attention to their use of colour and capturing light effects, the large scale dimensions of their artworks (when we think back to Monet's Water Lilies), paintings that pay little attention to horizons or perspective.

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Joan Mitchell

1925 - 1992, Chicago (United States)
Died in Paris (France)

Joan Mitchell was trained and achieved recognition in the New York scene in the 1950s before gradually settling in Paris at the end of the decade and establishing her studio in 1968 in Vétheuil—where Claude Monet lived for several years. 
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